One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A thing that rattles, especially an old or rickety vehicle.
- ‘One of the old rattlers crawled into the station like a desert explorer desperately clawing his way towards an oasis.’
- ‘Bicycles are noiseless, unless they are rusty old rattlers like my last one, or the owner has an obsession with the bell, which does cover a lot of the cyclists in this fair city.’
- ‘While brass bands welcomed the Hawks on to the ground, train drivers guiding their red rattlers past the railway wing would toot their horns in accompaniment.’
- ‘She headed out the door, past the rattler, and up the driveway to lunch with her brother.’
- ‘The Scotrail rattler was full of malodorous delegates and there was no First Class and no dining car.’
2North American informal A rattlesnake.
- ‘He nodded to Cathy and said, ‘Do be nice to them rattlers, and do feed them.’’
- ‘The name conjures images of coiled rattlers ready to lash out with deadly fangs.’
- ‘Before you start sacking, make sure the rattlers are grouped together, but not tangled up.’
- ‘It had rained briefly that evening, a hard downpour that meant the rattlers would be out, having been flushed from their holes.’
- ‘Climb higher up the point, watching for rattlers, and the line of rocks composes itself: a spiral coiling into the red lake water.’
- ‘Timber rattlers are often observed in groups during and after gestation and also when shedding their skins.’
- ‘In 1994 officials placed the timber rattler, one of the road's ‘commuters,’ on Illinois' threatened and endangered species list.’
- ‘He had respect for them, even as he respected the grizzly and the rattlers that his trail crossed.’
- ‘What are some of the more interesting things you learned about rattlers that you didn't know before making this film?’
- ‘Already, it has spared hundreds of dogs and their owners from bad encounters with rattlers.’
- ‘I've eaten rattlers, cottonmouths, copperheads - they all taste the same.’
- ‘Pit viper snake venoms are hemotoxic, except for some Mojave rattlers.’
- ‘Most preposterous is the concept of rapid introgression of Mojave toxin genes from Mojave rattlers into timber rattlers.’
- ‘Its only troublesome reptile, the rattler, stays away from the high ranges.’
- ‘While we normally leave rattlers alone, this one had to go, which it did with a close range blast from my shotgun.’
- ‘And look close before plopping down during the day; a rattler's diamondback coloration is grand camouflage.’
- ‘His other hand was no carved snake, it was a living rattler, moving as if on its own, tasting the air and searching for prey.’
- ‘As the search for effective antivenom goes on, the rattlers continue in their propensity for remaining placid until disturbed.’
- ‘Neighbors may include hawks, coyotes, or the occasional rattler.’
- ‘There are five species of poisonous snakes in the forest: the cottonmouth, coral snake, and three species of rattlers.’
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